Outrageous Cinnamon Rolls

Outrageous Cinnamon Rolls

Gooey, melt in your mouth cinnamon rolls

I have been trying to perfect the cinnamon roll recipe for awhile. Some are too dry, some are too cakey, some don’t have enough cinnamon, some are too sweet. I have finally perfected the recipe. After many tries, and I’m sure a few extra pounds, I have come up with a recipe that has the perfect amount of sugary cinnamon with the right softness of dough.

This recipe does not require a lot of ingredients but it does require some time. The rising process is very important in yielding fluffy rolls that goes oh so well with the cinnamon and brown sugar filling. I also think adding a bit of half and half or milk before baking the rolls keeps the rolls moist and gooey and the filling doesn’t dry out. I use instant yeast in this recipe and bread flour. You can substitute all purpose flour and active dry yeast if that’s all you can find. If you are using active yeast you will need to dissolve it in warm (not hot) milk before adding the sugar and eggs. I think instant yeast is easier to work with because you just add it to the flour and it doesn’t need to be activated but really either is fine. Just make sure that your yeast isn’t old. I also like King Arthur bread flour instead of all purpose. King Arthur makes amazing flour. The bread flour is higher in gluten and has 12.7% protein which results in a loftier and consistent texture. I use this flour in all the bread I make. It is also great for homemade pizza dough. If you don’t have bread flour do not worry, you can use all purpose and the rolls will still be delicious. The final touch to making these rolls exceptional is spooning some half and half or milk over each roll after they have risen and before you bake them in the oven. This prevents the rolls, and filling from drying out.

I like a simple powdered sugar frosting, I do not like cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls. I think its too heavy and takes away from the lightness of the rolls. The cinnamon rolls are sweet and decadent enough, the frosting should just add a bit of glaze to the top.

Can I make the dough the night before?

Yes, you can make the recipe up to when you are suppose to let the rolls rise for a second time. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let them rise for about an hour before baking. They should be double the size as when you put in the refrigerator. After the rolls have risen pour half and half over them. Let the half and half absorb into the rolls. Gently pour out liquid that has not been absorbed and bake in oven as directed.

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5 from 3 votes

Outrageous Cinnamon Rolls

fluffy, sweet cinnamon rolls with icing
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: muffins, rolls, pastry
Servings: 12
Calories: 413kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk – warm, not hot
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • tsp instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour or all purpose

Filling

  • 4 tbsp softened butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • tbsp cinnamon

Pour Over Rolls Before Baking

  • ¼ cup half and half

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • tbsp milk

Instructions

  • Add yeast to flour, mix well and set aside
  • In a large bowl mix warm, not hot, milk with melted butter and eggs
  • Add granulated sugar and salt and mix
  • Add flour and mix well until all incorporated
  • If dough is too sticky add another ¼ cup of flour
  • Knead dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes until dough springs back slightly
  • Put dough in a lighly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel
  • Put in a warm place and let rise for 45 minutes
  • On a lighly floured surface roll dough into a 18 x 18 square. Should be about ¼ inch thick.
  • Mix both sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl
  • Spread softened butter on dough
  • Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture
  • Gently roll dough into a log and cut into 12 slices. Each slice will be 1½ inches wide
  • Place cut rolls in a 9×13 baking dish
  • Cover and let rise for 45 minutes
  • preheat oven to 350
  • Spoon half and half over rolls and let absorb for 5 minutes.
  • Gently pour out liquid that hasn't been absorbed
  • Bake in oven for 25 minutes. If rolls are browning too much cover with aluminum foil

Icing

  • Mix powdered Sugar, vanilla and milk together
  • Let rolls cool slightly then drizzle over rolls

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 140mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

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Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

A Slightly Updated Classic Recipe

Beef Wellington is an absolutely beautiful dish to serve at a special dinner. It does require a little time but the results are well worth the effort. This dish always reminds me of a time long ago when people hosted formal grand dinner parties in their home. I feel that this dish always makes the dinner feel more elegant. There are many theories regarding the origin of Beef Wellington. One theory is that it is named after the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) who won the battle of Waterloo. According to foods of England there is no mention of Beef Wellington in any English cookbook until about 1970. It is therefore presumed to have French origin and then renamed. No matter the origin, we do know that it dates back to a long time ago when classic technique cooking was popular.

Beef Wellington is definitely a decadent dish. The original recipe calls for Duxelles, Foie Gras and Puff Pastry. In the recipe I was handed down by my mother the Foie Gras has been removed and sliced prosciutto has been added to help seal in the juices and prevent the puff pastry from getting soggy. The use of prosciutto is seen in many modern Beef Wellington recipes. The Duxelles is a combination of mushrooms, I like to use button, portobello and shiitake, that have been chopped and cooked down in butter with shallots and thyme. You can also add a little truffle or Chanterelle to the mix. I also add in a little fresh bread crumbs because I like the texture that it gives to the duxelles. The result is a mushroom paste that is spread over the prosciutto and then wrapped around the tenderloin.

Duxelles with fresh thyme and breadcrumbs. Choose any assorted mushrooms you like and cook down with butter and shallots before adding the thyme and breadcrumbs

You can use a 2 1/2 pound center-cut tenderloin ( will serve 6) that has been tied to retain the shape or you can use 6-8 oz portions if you would like to make individual Beef Wellington. You must sear the meat to seal in the juices before wrapping it in the duxelles, prosciutto and puff pastry. After you sear the meat, remove the string before wrapping. There’s nothing worse then getting a piece of string caught in your mouth. I have deviated from my mother’s recipe slightly after reading that Chef Gordon Ramsey rubs Dijon mustard on the meat before wrapping it. So clever, I just love that guy! After trying this I decided I really liked the flavor and spice that the Dijon mustard gave the dish. Always make sure you wrap the tenderloin securely with the puff pastry and seal the ends well. Do not leave too much dough on the end, you don’t want clumpy ends of dough. After you have wrapped the Filet in puff pastry use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes to create a beautiful design on top. This can be as easy as rolling a thin piece of pastry and creating a vine with leaves or cutting out birds like I did here for Christmas. Use your imagination, it’s your creation. Brush with egg wash before placing in oven to create a beautiful sheen on the pastry when finished. Serve the Wellington with Brandy Shallot Sauce.

How Do You Know How Long To Cook The Meat?

It will take about 35-40 minutes for a 2 1/2 pound tenderloin to reach medium rare (130-135 degrees). I recommend cooking the Wellington at 400 for 40 minutes. You can stick a meat thermometer in the center to check temperature. The ends of the meat will be more well done then the center pieces so you will have a variety of meat temperatures for your guests. Let the Beef Wellington rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. Since it will be so beautiful to look at you should place it on a platter and display it at the table while your guests are sitting down.

Can I Make The Beef Wellington Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare the Beef Wellington according to the recipe up to the step before you wrap it in puff pastry. This can be done up to 12 hours before you are going to cook the Wellington. Wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Beef Wellington
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5 from 2 votes

Beef Wellington

Filet Mignon wrapped in Puff Pastry
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Chill1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French, English
Keyword: Steak, Filet Mignon
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 342kcal

Ingredients

  • lb Center Cut Beef Tenderloin tied with string
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 6 slices Prosciutto
  • 1 sheet Puff Pastry
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water

Duxelles

  • 16 oz Mushrooms (Shiitake, Portobello, Button)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs (not packaged)
  • ½ cup shallot chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (leaves only)
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400

Duxelles

  • Add Mushrooms, Shallots and Thyme to a food processor and finely chop. Can also be done by hand but it needs to be finely chopped
  • Heat Butter in a pan and saute mushrooms until liquid has been rendered. About 8 min
  • Add salt and pepper and fresh breadcrumbs
  • Let cool

Meat

  • Season beef with salt and pepper
  • Heat Olive Oil in pan and sear meat on all sides
  • Let cool slightly and remove string
  • Brush with Dijon Mustard

Assemble

  • Lay slices of prosciutto slightly overlapping on a piece of plastic wrap
  • Spread duxelles over prosciutto
  • place cooled meat on top and use plastic to wrap prosciutto and mushrooms around the meat.
  • Chill in refrigerator for at least a half hour
  • Roll puff pastry on a lighly floured surface ¼ inch thick
  • Roll puff pastry in a rectangle just large enough to wrap around tenderloin. You do not want too much excess on sides. Trim pastry as necessary and keep scraps to decorate top with.
  • Remove Tenderloin from plastic and wrap tightly in puff pastry use egg wash to seal
  • Put seam side down and cut out decorative cut outs out of excess puff pastry to place on top.
  • Brush with egg wash
  • Roast in oven for 45 minutes until temp reaches 130-135 for medium rare
  • Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp serated knife

Notes

Serve with Jenn’s View Brandy Cream Sauce recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 317mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2mg
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5 from 1 vote

Brandy Cream Sauce

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Sauces and Dips
Cuisine: French, American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 136kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp minced shallots
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Saute shallots in butter until light brown
  • add brandy and reduce until slighly syrupy (around 5 minutes)
  • take ¼ cup of broth and mix with cornstarch then mix with rest of the broth and add to pan
  • simmer until starting to thicken. Around 5 minutes
  • add cream, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper
  • Simmer until thick enough to coat back of spoon

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 204mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 292IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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Easy and Delicious Christmas Cookies

Easy and Delicious Christmas Cookies

Sugar cookies decorated with icing and candy

Baking is a great indoor activity. It’s fun to do alone or with friends and family. Christmas cookies should not only look good but they should also taste great. This is a simple recipe that comes together in a matter of minutes. I have been using this recipe since my children were small and each year we set aside an afternoon to bake and decorate cookies. I used to love when they actually believed that they were making cookies for Santa which is why we started calling them Santa Cookies.

This Sugar Cookie recipe is easy and absolutely delicious. It is much easier to roll the dough when it is slightly chilled so you should divide the dough into four pieces, roll them each into a ball and chill. Take them out of the refrigerator when you are ready to roll and cut out the shapes. After cutting the shapes re-roll the scraps and put back in refrigerator for a few minutes so you can use all the dough. This recipe should make about 3 dozen cookies depending on the size of the cookie cutters. We like making a variety of sizes, some bite sized and some that are 2 or 3 inches. It’s really up to you.

Carefully use a spatula to lift the cookie off the surface and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not overtake the cookies, they should only take 8 to 10 minutes. Remove them from oven when the edges start to turn a very light brown. Let cool completely before frosting. I recommend making your own frosting and placing it into squeeze bottles. Squeeze bottles makes frosting the cookies much easier and the frosting will not dry out as quickly. The frosting needs to have a little corn syrup in it in order to dry with a nice sheen on top. This makes the cookies absolutely beautiful. Use food coloring to color the frosting and place each in a separate bottle.

The cookies can be stored for 5 days in an airtight container. They are so festive and fun to make and look beautiful served after dinner on Christmas Eve or Christmas. The cookies also make a great homemade gift. Buy cookie boxes or tins and wrap a beautiful red ribbon around it to give as a holiday gift to friends and family. Homemade gifts are so thoughtful to give, especially edible ones. They are gifts that took your time to make, which is the greatest gift of all. Please share your cookie pictures with me on instagram by tagging @itsjennsview . I would love to see how they come out!!!

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5 from 2 votes

The Best Christmas Cookies

Sugar cookies frosted with icing
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Chilling Time30 mins
Total Time48 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookies, Holiday
Servings: 36 cookies
Calories: 123kcal

Equipment

  • Cookie cutters

Ingredients

Sugar cookies recipe

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder

Cookie icing recipe

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • 2½-3 tbsp lukewarm water
  • food coloring – optional

Instructions

Sugar Cookies

  • Preheat oven 350
  • Mix butter and sugar together until light and blended
  • Mix in beaten egg and vanilla
  • Blend baking powder and flour and add 1 cup at a time
  • Make dough into a ball and cut into 4
  • Make into 4 small balls, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 min
  • Roll ball into a ¼ inch slab on a piece of parchment so it won't stick.
  • Cut out desired shapes, reroll scraps and place back in refrigerator while you are working on the next ball of dough. Keep rotating until all dough is used.
  • Bake in oven for 8 -10 minutes
  • Let cool before icing

Cookie Icing

  • Mix ingredients together and add food coloring if desired
  • Pour into frosting bag fitted with a small tip or a squeeze bottle

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

Smothered with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

I think that meatloaf is a very underrated dish. People think “boring”, I think delicious. The funny thing is that we served meatloaf on the menu at Grazie and it was extremely popular. Ours was an Italian version of the typical American dish. We topped the meatloaf with a hearty tomato and mushroom sauce and guests loved it. I think that it may be because it reminds people of home. Meatloaf is a comfort food and since Grazie was a neighborhood restaurant people weren’t looking for fancy, they wanted delicious home cooking. There are many different adaptations of meatloaf. Recipes vary the meat used and some don’t use meat at all. I like to use a combination of veal, pork and beef for my meatloaf. This is the classic blend of meat to use in meatloaf recipes. It is also essential to use fresh breadcrumbs, not packaged. I am the first person to try and make a recipe easy but it really makes a difference to make your own fresh breadcrumbs out of white or french bread. I like to buy a loaf of bread, leave it out for a day or two and then make a big batch of crumbs and freeze them in a ziplock bag. You can defrost them as needed.

It is also important to mix all the ingredients well before making a loaf shape to bake in the oven. The liquids need to mix with the breadcrumbs and meat in order to result in a meatloaf that has the right texture and consistency. So take your time mixing with a fork. When forming the loaf shape do not handle the meat too long. You want to gently form the shape and then leave it alone. If you handle meat for meatloaf or meatballs too long it becomes too dense and it will end up being tough. Always let your meatloaf rest for 10 minutes after you take it out of the oven to prevent it from falling apart when you slice.

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5 from 2 votes

The Best Meatloaf Recipe

Meatloaf Smothered in Carameized Onions and Mushrooms
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatloaf, entree, meat
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 439kcal

Ingredients

Meatloaf

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • slices white bread ground into breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • cup ketchup
  • ½ tbsp dried minced onions
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

  • 2 sweet vidalia onions
  • ½ lb button mushrooms sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • tsp sugar
  • tsp pepper
  • tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Grind slices of white bread into breadcrumbs in food processor
  • Blend all meatloaf ingredients together. Mix well with a fork
  • Gently mold into loaf shape in a 9×13 baking dish. Do not over handle meat.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour
  • Let rest for 10 minutes

Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

  • While meatloaf is baking start to make onions and mushrooms
  • Peel and cut the onions in half. Slice into ¼ inch slices
  • Melt butter in pan over medium low heat
  • Add onions and sugar
  • Cook on low heat to allow onions to begin to caramelize. Around 45 minutes
  • stir often
  • When onions turn light brown add mushrooms, salt and pepper
  • Saute for another 10 minutes or so until mushrooms are cooked and onions are golden brown

Notes

You can also use only ground beef if you do not want to use pork and veal.

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 550mg | Potassium: 695mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg

Decadent Hot Chocolate

Decadent Hot Chocolate

There is nothing better than a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day. I wanted to make hot chocolate a bit more interesting. The basic hot cocoa recipe will remain the same but we can definitely jazz it up a bit. I find that rimming a glass mug with peppermint, crumbled cookies or graham crackers is always a great way to fancy up hot chocolate. This can also be done ahead of time so all you have to do is make the hot chocolate. Rim the mug with graham cracker crumbs, pour in hot chocolate, add marshmallows and use a torch to ignite the marshmallows and you have my version of S’mores Hot Chocolate. It is also fun to put out a hot chocolate bar for friends and family. to help themselves. Make the hot chocolate and place in a thermos to keep warm, rim several mugs with various toppings like peppermint, oreo crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, mini M&M’s, etc… Put out cinnamon sticks, peppermint sticks, marshmallows, whipped cream. I also put out Baileys, Kahlua, Brandy and Chambord for the adults to mix in for a grown up hot chocolate. Let your imagination go and have fun with it!

Hot Chocolate
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5 from 2 votes

Decadent Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Rim

Creamy, rich hot chocolate gets an added kick by rimming the mug with peppermint
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hot cocoa, hot chocolate
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 371kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint
  • vanilla frosting

Instructions

  • Rim mug with vanilla frosting
  • Dip mug into crushed peppermint
  • Mix cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt and milk into a paste
  • Pour in warm milk and stir
  • Top with mini marshmallows or whipped cream if desired

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 836IU | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 2mg

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Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Roasting broccoli is so easy, tastes delicious and is very healthy. I think it’s silly when I read a recipe that over-complicates roasted broccoli. All you need to do is cut the florets off of the head of broccoli give them a quick rinse and toss with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done. I like when the the broccoli gets a little char on it. The broccoli remains crisp but tender.

In this recipe I decided to give the broccoli a little kick. I wanted a little more heat in the dish and some more color so I decided to add Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic. I sautéed the peppers and garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil before tossing with the broccoli. This step allowed the peppers and garlic to flavor the Olive Oil before tossing it with the broccoli. I was having a couple of friends over for dinner and was serving a buffet dinner. I prepped the whole dish ahead of time so all I had to do was pop it in the oven 15 minutes before I wanted to serve dinner. I love recipes that don’t require you to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when your guests have arrived. You should be enjoying your company, not sweating it out in the kitchen.

Roasted Broccoli
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5 from 2 votes

Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Charred Broccoli with Peppers and Garlic
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegetable, broccoli
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 245kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 2 Sweet Twister Peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Cut florets off of broccoli. Florets should be bite sized
  • Thinly slice the Jalapeno, peppers and garlic
  • Saute the peppers and garlic in Olive oil until garlic starts to turn a pale brown. About 5 min
  • Toss peppers and oil with broccoli
  • Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper
  • Roast for 15 minutes until broccoli begins to char and is bright green

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 734mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2530IU | Vitamin C: 235mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg